Bookish talks · Interviews

Blog tour ~ The Vinyl Underground, Rob Rufus + Interview

Hi guys ! Today I’m teaming up with Flux Books and Rob Rufus to introduce you a book that was released last March, and deserves a lot of love and attention. I’m talking about The Vinyl Underground, which I read before its release last year. Here’s what you need to know about The Vinyl Underground !

The Vinyl Underground | Rob Rufus | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | My review

During the tumultuous year of 1968, four teens are drawn together: Ronnie Bingham, who is grieving his brother’s death in Vietnam; Milo, Ronnie’s bookish best friend; “Ramrod,” a star athlete who is secretly avoiding the draft; and Hana, the new girl, a half-Japanese badass rock-n-roller whose presence doesn’t sit well with their segregated high school.

The four outcasts find sanctuary in “The Vinyl Underground,” a record club where they spin music, joke, debate, and escape the stifling norms of their small southern town. But Ronnie’s eighteenth birthday is looming. Together, they hatch a plan to keep Ronnie from being drafted. But when a horrific act of racial-charged violence rocks the gang to their core, they decide it’s time for an epic act of rebellion.

I honestly loved reading about that historical era, as it’s not often told about, especially in fiction books. Even though it deals with war, the main topics we see are friendship, growing up and reflecting on who you want to become. Those are topics I adore, and I think Rob Rufus did a great job bringing the readers in this moment in time, in a little bubble that grows and grows until it becomes something more.

After Flux Books kindly approached me regarding this blog tour, I was lucky enough to have a chance to ask Rob Rufus some questions about The Vinyl Underground, music, and future projects !

J : First of all, thank you for agreeing to this interview and taking some of your time to answer my questions! Some of my readers might not know you… Can you tell us who Rob Rufus is ?

R.R : Well, I’m a punk rock drummer who spent the last fifteen years touring with my bands Blacklist Royals and The Bad Signs.  My first book, Die Young With Me, is a memoir of my struggles with teen cancer.  My new book is called The Vinyl Underground.  My memoir is currently being developed for the screen. 

J: The Vinyl Underground, your latest book, was released this March. It deals with music, friendship, and creating your own small rebellions against what you believe is unfair. How did the idea of this story come to you ? Why write about those topics ?

R.R : I think there are many striking and disturbing parallels between the protest movement of the 1960s and what is happening today.  But in the 60’s people took to the streets and made real strides, while today we sit on our asses and tweet and don’t change one thing.  So, I thought it was important to write about the power of active protest versus passive protest.

J : Ronnie, Milo and Hana listen to a lot of music together throughout the book. Aside from the songs mentioned in the story, what are a few songs you could recommend for us reader to listen to while reading The Vinyl Underground ? We just love a good background soundtrack !

R.R : I actually have an extensive Vinyl Underground Soundtrack up on Spotify!  It features every song in the book, songs that inspired the book, etc. and can be found here : https://open.spotify.com/playlist/25klWMbzk68jQnI7uSeG4G?si=q0Znd_iaTRmMEw0TrwaoeA (ndlr : sorry guys, the embed link doesn’t work 😦 )

J : What is the one message you hope will stick with people after reading The Vinyl Underground ?

R.R : That bravery means acting on the courage of your convictions, regardless of what they are.  That late reaction is inaction.  That sometimes, you have to take it to street level.

J : Do you have any bookish (or non bookish !) projects for the future ? If so, can you pitch us one ? I know I’d love another book by you, especially if it’s also centered around music !

R.R : The screen adaptation for Die Young With Me, which I wrote, is all about punk rock!  I have a couple other scripts floating around, and my third book is currently with editors.  It’s about two teenagers whose father is a convicted serial killer.  They decide that the only way to prove his innocence is to find the real killer.  One of the characters is a metalhead, so if you like Metallica and Motörhead you’re in luck ! 

Music, friendship and rebellion are the main topics here, so if you’re into that, make sure to check The Vinyl Underground out ! It’s out already and is available pretty much everywhere 🙂

Thanks for reading,
See you soon,
Love,
Jade ❤

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